Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Warming mediates intraspecific multiple predator effects from an invasive crustacean.

Abstract

Invasive alien species impacts might be mediated by environmental factors such as climatic warming. For invasive predators, multiple predator interactions could also exacerbate or dampen ecological impacts. These effects may be especially pronounced in highly diverse coastal ecosystems that are prone to profound and rapid regime shifts. We examine emergent effects of warming on the strength of intraspecific multiple predator effects from a highly successful invasive gammarid Gammarus tigrinus, using a functional response approach towards larval chironomids (feeding rates under different prey densities). Single predator maximum feeding rates were three-times higher at 24°C compared to 18°C overall, with potentially prey destabilising type II functional responses exhibited. However, pairs of gammarids exhibited intraspecific multiple predator effects that were in turn mediated by temperature regime, whereby synergisms were found at the lower temperature (i.e. positive non-trophic interactions) and antagonisms detected at the higher temperature (i.e. negative non-trophic interactions) under high prey densities. Accordingly, warming scenarios may worsen the impact of this invasive alien species, yet implications of temperature change are dependent on predator-predator interactions. Emergent effects between abiotic and biotic factors should be considered in ecological impact predictions across habitat types for invasive alien species.